Springer snaps Fishpal Malloch Trophy

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Scottish Sporting Gazette

You never know when that fish of a lifetime will hit your fly - it is part of the sport's magical allure. For Wayne Longstaff, it was May 2014...

The 2014 winner of the FishPal Malloch Trophy - for one of the largest salmon caught by an angler on a fly and safely returned during the year in Scottish waters - has been announced. The successful angler is Wayne Longstaff of Teesside for this stunning spring salmon caught on the River Tweed.

Mr Longstaff, on being told of the decision of the FishPal Malloch Trophy Committee on December 17, commented: "I have been salmon fishing for ten years now and this was my biggest fish to date by a long way. This fish of a lifetime was superbly shaped, in prime condition and sea-liced. It swam off strongly after we had taken a very quick photograph."

Mr Longstaff's salmon, accurately weighed at 33lb with a length of 45 inches, was landed on May 5 in the Cottage Stream pool on the Hendersyde beat of the River Tweed, before being carefully released back into the river. To be eligible for the trophy a fish must be caught on a fly in a sportsmanlike manner and be returned to the water.

The fish was caught on a Hardy Elite rod with a Hardy 2000 reel, a Mach 55 sink-tip fly line and a Pot-Bellied Pig fly. The fish was weighed in a weigh-net by Hendersyde head boatman John Kitchingham.

The runner-up is Gordon Smith of Buckie for a heavy salmon caught in October on the Birse beat of the River Dee.

John Wood, chairman of the Tay Foundation and a member of the FishPal Malloch Committee, commented: "I am delighted that this year's winning entry is for a spring salmon, which for many salmon anglers are the most prized of all fish. Unfortunately, runs of spring salmon have over the last few decades seen a disproportionate decline and they need as much protection as possible. The safe release of Mr Longstaff's magnificent fish illustrates the commitment by the great majority of anglers to conserving spring salmon."

Mark Cockburn, CEO of sponsors FishPal, said: "2014 has been a disappointing season for salmon fishers across the North Atlantic. That said, with salmon angling there is always the possibility that the next cast will produce the fish of a lifetime. Our congratulations go to Wayne Longstaff for fulfilling this dream".

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